Zuma worries Zille

The prospect of ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma becoming president is profoundly concerning, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said yesterday.

The prospect of ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma becoming president is profoundly concerning, Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille said yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference at parliament to release the DA's annual "report card" on the performance of cabinet ministers, she said the ANC succession battle was the defining characteristic of the cabinet's performance this year, from the president down.

While Zuma was not included in the card, Zille made no bones about her concern at the prospect of him becoming president of the country.

Three things were particularly worrying, she said.

Zuma had never told the public what his policies were should he become president and had always "ducked" questions in this regard.

He had never laid his policies on the table, promoted or defended them, but simply said what his particular audience at the time had wanted to hear.

So, Zuma's policies were still unknown, but his "judgment in critical situations" and what "constituencies he owes favours to" were indeed known.

"Put these three things together, and there is cause for profound concern," Zille said.

The country needed a leader who understood and defended the Constitution and its values.

While she was reluctant to name who she thought would fit the bill, she eventually said they would include Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel and businessman Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zille said it was essential that Zuma went on trial so that his innocence or guilt of the allegations against him could be proven.

Earlier, Zille said it was ironic that Zuma, who always called for his day in court, was now "using all means including the constitutional court to avoid going to court". - Sapa

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